Lok Virsa Folk Festival is the largest cultural activity
in Pakistan, in fact it so popular that artisans and performers
form many countires particpate in the event that has been
held annually now for the last 20 years. Here is where
you will see Pakistan’s traditionally rich culture
at its finest, where performers gather from every corner
The annual National Folk Festival (Lok Mela), held in
October each year. Over the past two decades, this festival
has taken on an international flavour and more than 20
different countries have sent their artisans and performers
to participate in the festival. Nationally, the festival
has become a thing of pride for artisans and performers,
who come on their own to participate. Most important of
all, the Provinces of Pakistan and Azad Jammu & Kashmir
put up beautifully decorated pavilions and visitors have
the unique opportunity to see an assortment of Pakistan's
traditionally rich culture in the federal capital of Islamabad
for an exciting ten days.
An exhibition of artisans at work under the banner of
the Heritage Museum forms the core of this festival. The
Research & Media Centre of Lok Virsa arranges groups
of dancers that perform all over the festival grounds,
inviting visitors to join in, and in the evening, arranges
music concerts from all parts of Pakistan. Documentation
of the festival is carried out by Lok Virsa's researchers,
who interview all the artisans and artists.
Participants come from all over Pakistan. You would be
able to feel and experience the variety in tastes, cultures
and heritage of Pakistan all under one roof. One may find
different pavilions displaying the crafts of their respective
provinces. The Kashmir pavilion may display major crafts
from Azad Jammu and Kashmir like Embroidered shawls, Namda
and Gabba (floor rungs and wall hangings), wood works,
basketry, metal crafts and jewellery etc.
The Punjab Pavilion
may host traditional food items along with singing and
listening pleasures of Punjab folk songs. Punjabi style
handicrafts also manages to catch viewer attention.
From the Balochistan
pavilion one may expect to get depictions of nomadic
balochi life styles and traditional artisans displaying
their skills of various Baloch crafts. Leather embroidery
crafts and crafts using date leaves are also prime choices
of interest in this pavilion. Apart from this one may
expect to get a taste of Balochi folk songs and their
all famous dish called "Sajji".
The Sindh pavilion may
offer depcitions of Sindh life style, village scenes
and working men and women. Artisans preparing different
crafts and their traditional folk songs and instruments.
"Ajrak" a traditionally made shawl is by far
the most highlighted attraction of this pavilion.
The N.W.F.P Pavilion
features the pushtoon culture, customs, crafts and cuisine.
Glittering metal crafts of Brass and Copper are displayed
in a great variety along with stalls of traditonally
made baskets. Stone carving which was traditionally
done on tomb stones is also shown in a diversified fashion
which can be used on planters, table tops and wall hangings.
Along with this Pathan dancers perform their famous
"Khattack Dance" and offer their traditional
"Chappli Kebab" for your eating pleasures.
from these pavilions one may witness all kinds of cuisine,
musical galas, crafts bazar, lok virsa's display and
sale stalls. A richly cherishable experience bound to
create a lasting impression.